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The life of the founder of the famous frontier forceBritish India gave rise to a number of notable regiments and among them were few which could compare with the individualism, élan, fame and prowess of the Corps of Guides. This magnificent unit was formed in 1847 to comprise both cavalry and infantry and its purpose was to provide reliable men to act as guides to forces active in the field and to act as intelligence gatherers on the troubled borderlands of the North West Frontier. Its men were drawn from the fierce tribal men of the high country of the north of the Sub-Continent and their martial traditions ensured they were troops of the highest calibre. The man called upon to raise and command this exemplary unit was Harry Burnett Lumsden. Born aboard ship in the Bay of Bengal in 1821, the son of a serving officer in India, Lumsden had India in his blood from the outset. He joined the 59th Bengal Native Infantry in 1838 and was engaged in the disastrous First Afghan War at the forcing of the Khyber Pass. British India could only be consolidated as a whole by the subjugation of its most significant military power, the Sikhs of the Punjab and Lumsden fought in both Sikh Wars-being wounded at Sobraon in the first of them in February 1846. It was, however, for his creation of the Guides that he earned his fame as one of the notable figures of British India. This is the story of Lumsden's life and campaigns and it is an invaluable addition to any library of the Raj period.L...
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